Import Controlled Goods into Singapore
What You Need to Know When Importing Controlled Goods into Singapore
What are Controlled Goods?
There are some goods that are labeled as ‘controlled goods’ and the import/export of these goods come under the control of the Controlling Agencies. Examples of controlled goods: cigarettes or any tobacco product, animals, food products, petrochemicals and drugs. In this guide, we take a look at the licensing requirements for the importing of controlled goods into the island-city state of Singapore.
What Sort of Permit Do I Need to Get to Be Able to Import Controlled Goods?
Before you can import any goods (which include controlled and non-controlled goods) into Singapore, you’ll have to apply for an IN Permit through TradeNet®, and you’ll have to do it before the goods are imported into Singapore. Since they are subject to control by ‘Controlling Agencies’, the controlled goods will also have to be authorized by the respective controlling authority.
Which Goods are Subject to Import Control?
If you want to go over a comprehensive list of controlled items, please head on over to the Singapore Customs website and look for Goods Subject to Control under the Import & Export Procedures headings. For this guide, we’ll be going over 7 different categories of goods which are subject to import control:
(1) films, video games, audio/video records, publications
(2) pharmaceuticals, medicines and poisons
(4) plants and plant products
(5) endangered species of plants or animals
(6) arms and explosives, weapons or toy gun and
(7) telecommunication equipment.
What Do I Need to Know About the Import of Films, Video Games, Audio/Video Records & Publications?
Films – To import films, you’ll need to have a valid import permit that’s been approved by Singapore’s MDA (Media Development Authority). The import permit will be necessary to facilitate customs clearance.
Video Games – For the importing of video games, you’ll need to have a valid import permit that’s been approved by the MDA.
Audio CD’s – An importer wishing to import audio CDs for commercial purposes has to declare them through the TradeNet® system. It is important to note that these audio CDs must not contain undesirable content, which is anything that’s been deemed obscene and/or objectionable under Singapore’s Undesirable Publications Act.
Videos – You’ll have to obtain an import permit from the TradeNet® system in order to import videos meant for commercial purposes. During the application process, the permit declarations will be sent to Singapore’s BFC (Board of Film Censors) and the importer might have to present additional information regarding the consignment.
Publications – To import publications of any sort, you’ll require an import permit that has been endorsed by the MDA. You will not be required to pay any fee or obtain any other license, although the MDA may request to see a sample of the publications, or a list of all the titles being imported.
Broadcasting Apparatus – You’ll need a dealer’s licenses, issued by the MDA, In order to import broadcasting apparatus. The license costs SGD 330 and is valid for one year.
What Do I Need to Know About the Import of Pharmaceuticals, Medicines and Poisons?
For Registered Medicinal Product Only authorized medicinal products are allowed to be imported into Singapore. The Medicines Act states that, in order to import registered medicinal products, the importer must have the relevant product licenses or an ‘Import License (For Authorized Agent) for Medicinal Products’.
The latter is issued by Singapore’s HSA (Health Sciences Authority), and it will only be issued to those importers who are authorized by the product license holders to import the licensed products on their behalf. In order to be successfully issued an import license, the importer must ensure that the medicinal products are in compliance with HSA’s Good Distribution Practice standard.
If the importer has the intentions to sell the registered medicinal products to others (resale), they will have to apply for a difference license instead – the Wholesale Dealer’s License for Medicinal Products. Note: There is another license that can be obtained from HAS if the importer is neither (a) a licensed product holder nor (b) an authorized agent for medicinal products. It is called ‘Import License on Consignment Basis’. Basically it allows the importer to import registered medicinal products, but on a per consignment basis.
For Unregistered Medicinal Products, on a Named-Patient basis
If the medicinal products are not registered in Singapore, they can still be imported on a named-patient basis, subject to approval by the HAS. There is approval fee for the license, but the importer will have to disclose the product details, importer details as well as patient and physician details. In addition, the importer will also have to maintain records on both the supply and use of the unregistered medicinal products.
For Medicinal Products meant for Re-Export HSA approval is required for any import of medicinal products into Singapore that is meant to be eventually re-exported to other countries. The consignment has to be exported from Singapore within 2 years of the import date
For Chinese Proprietary Medicines (CPM) In order to import Chinese Proprietary Medicines (CPM), the importer must obtain an ‘Import License for Chinese Proprietary Medicines’. This license is issued by Singapore’s HSA (Health Sciences Authority). It is the importer’s responsibility to ensure that the CPM being imported is registered and approved for sale in Singapore (otherwise no license will be issued!) In order to be successfully issued with an import license, the importer must ensure that the CPM is in compliance with HSA’s Good Distribution Practice standard If the importer has the intentions to sell the registered CPM to others (resale), they will have to apply for a difference license instead – the Wholesale Dealer’s License for Chinese Proprietary Medicines.
For Poisons In order to import poisons, the importer has to obtain a ‘Form A Poisons License’. This license is issued by Singapore’s HSA (Health Sciences Authority), and it will only be issued to a registered pharmacist who works for a company that deals with active pharmaceutical ingredients, intended for local sales, medicinal products, or controlled drugs. Any transactions related to the imported poisons will be the responsibility of the license holder. In order to be successfully issued with an import license, the importer must ensure that the poisons are in compliance with HSA’s Good Distribution Practice standard
For Restricted/Psychotropic Substances and Controlled Drugs Only a registered pharmacist is allowed to apply for and obtain an import authorization for the importing of restricted/psychotropic or controlled drugs. The registered pharmacist in question also needs to hold a valid poisons license. A consignment containing these substances and drugs must be imported within 6 months of the authorization date.